Gene therapy offers a new treatment paradigm for curing human disease. Rather than altering the disease phenotype by using agents that interact with gene products, or are themselves gene products, gene therapy can theoretically modify specific genes resulting in disease cure following a single administration. Initially gene therapy was envisioned for the treatment of genetic disorders, but is currently being studied for use with a wide range of diseases, including cancer, peripheral vascular disease, arthritis, Neurodegenerative disorders and other acquired diseases.
Certain key elements are required for a successful gene therapy strategy. The most elementary of these is that the relevant gene be identified and cloned. Upon completion of the Human Genome Project, gene availability will be unlimited. Once identified and cloned, the next consideration must be expression of the gene. Questions pertaining to the efficiency of gene transfer and gene expression remain at the forefront of gene therapy research, with current debates revolving around the transfer of desired genes to appropriate cells, and then to obtaining sufficient levels of expression for disease treatment. With luck, future research on gene transfer and tissue-specific gene expression will resolve these issues for the majority of gene therapy protocols.
Other important considerations for a gene therapy strategy include a sufficient understanding of the pathogenesis of the targeted disorder, potential side effects of the gene therapy treatment, and a more in depth understanding of the target cells which are to receive gene therapy.
Gene transfer vector is the mechanism by which the gene is transferred into a cell. Currently there are at least 150 clinical gene therapy protocols worldwide. Since the approval process for these protocols is not as public outside the U.S. , it is difficult to ascertain the exact number of worldwide protocols. As of December 1995, 1024 patients had been treated with either a gene transfer or gene therapy protocol. Much controversy exists regarding how many of these patients have benefited from their gene therapy, and no one has yet been cured.
Public controversy in the field of human gene therapy is driven by several factors. Ordinary citizens as well as scientists easily understand the enormous potential of gene therapy, but the former may not appreciate all the pitfalls and uncertainly that lie in the immediate future. The financial interests of biotechnology firms and, some have asserted, the career interests of some gene therapists have encouraged extravagant, or at least overly optimistic public statements about contemporary gene therapy. In spite of the proliferation of protocols, the actual number of patients treated remains small, and only one genuinely controlled study of human gene therapy has been published as of this date.
1. In the passage, the author anticipates which of the following as a possible obstacle to the introduction of gene therapy to mainstream medicine?
A. Overly optimistic public statements given by scientists who have a vested interest
B. The general public?s difficulty in grasping gene therapy?s vast potential.
C. Unchecked financial interests of biotechnology firms.
D. The relatively small number of controlled studies of human gene therapy published as of this date.
E. Hazards of which the general public is currently unaware.
2. All of the following are mentioned in the passage as elements that are required for a successful gene therapy strategy EXCEPT:
A. Identifying the relevant gene
B. Expressing the relevant gene
C. Determining the side effects of the relevant gene
D. Understanding of the pathogenesis of the targeted disorder
E. Gaining and a more in depth understanding of the target cells which are to receive gene therapy.
3. The author?s attitude toward the gene therapy as a future cure for cancer, peripheral vascular disease, arthritis, Neurodegenerative disorders and other acquired diseases is
D. Cautious optimism
4. The primary function of the fifth paragraph is to
A. Explain effects
B. Recommend actions
C. Identify problems
D. Evaluate solutions
E. Warn of consequences
5. The primary focus of the passage is on which of the following?
A. Comparing two Canadian prime ministers and contrasting their personal style of leadership
B. Describing the leadership style of one of Canada ?s prime ministers
C. Evaluating the success of the leadership style of one of Canada ?s prime ministers
D. Summarizing the contribution of one of Canada ?s prime ministers
E. Tracing the long-term impact of legislation put forward by one of Canada ?s prime ministers
6. It can be inferred from the passage that former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King
A. was opposed to abortion and put forward legislation making it illegal
B. was opposed to abortion but did not put forward legislation making it illegal
C. was in favor of abortion and put forward legislation making it legal
D. was in favor of abortion but did not put forward legislation making it legal
E. did not put forward legislation making abortion legal
7. The author of the passage mentions Trudeau?s accomplishments in sports primarily in order to
A. Explain the source of Trudeau?s physical stamina
B. Illustrate that he had earned the adoration of the Canadian public
C. Contrast it to his personal brand of ?do it my way? politics
D. Provide one reason why he was able to single-handedly push through legislation that should normally have shocked conservative Canada
E. Provide one reason why he was able to single-handedly thwart legislation that should normally have shocked conservative Canada
8. The quotation "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation," is most probably used to
A. present the opinion that the state should have less of a say in issues that are essentially not public matters
B. present the opinion that the state should have less of a say in issues that are essentially public matters
C. present the opinion that the state should have more of a say in issues that are essentially not personal matters
D. provide an example of Pierre Elliot Trudeau?s flamboyant style that he used to captivate the Canadian public
E. contrast Pierre Elliot Trudeau?s flamboyant style with that of Lester B. Pearson